**Update: The article has been updated to include Ryan Arata’s 200 backstroke. He is ranked just ahead of Louisville’s Aaron Young for the first alternate position.
The NCAA released their pre-selection psych sheets for the Men’s D1 Championships this morning, and of course, we couldn’t just let them sit there without crunching the numbers. We found that 29 full lines will be invited to the meet, but it comes down to tie breakers for the last few spots from the 30th line.Tie breakers to make the last meet are decided by dividing the NCAA meet record time by the entry time for the specific event. Those with the highest percentages will either be invited to the meet or be next in line as an alternate for the meet. Two swimmers will make it in from the 30 line: North Carolina State’s Adam Linker(14:59.20 – 1650 free) and Ohio State’s Tamas Gercsak (1:43.74 – 200 fly).
With the last two invites going to them (if our math is correct), that leaves Stanford’s Ryan Arata (1:42.04 – 200 back) as the first alternate. There is a tie for the second alternate position between Louisville’s Aaron Young and Tennessee’s Jacob Thulin. Both swimmers are tied in the 100 butterfly at 46.38.
Per NCAA rules, “When two or more swimmers are tied for the final selection spot, the committee will use the swimmers’ times in the next event in which each swimmer is highest on the list and therefore closest to being selected in that event. The committee will compute the percentage of each respective swimmer’s time in his or her next-best event to the automatic qualification time, or “A” standard, for the events. The competitor who is closest in percentage to the A standard time for their next-best event will be invited to the meet. If there are multiple student-athletes tied for the final selection spot, only those who are not already selected to the championships will be compared using the tie-breaking procedures. Student-athletes who are already selected to the championships in another event will be automatically invited in the event for which there is a tie.”
In this case, two swimmers are tied for the second alternate spot but it is very likely that one of these swimmers will be bumped into the meet. Texas already has 17 swimmers qualified and 3 divers qualified as of last night. Now Eddie Reese has to decide what will be more beneficial for his team, his third diver or his 17th swimmer. If they choose to use their third diver, that will open up a spot for an extra swimmer. Either way, one of Texas’ athletes will not be making the cut. There is also a possibility that other teams may have to scratch a swimmer due to injury, illness, or disciplinary reasons. A scratch for any reason would open up a spot for a swimmer on the alternate list.
To break it down in english, the second alternate tie will be decided by looking at the swimmers second event, as the 100 butterfly is the highest seeded event for both swimmers. The tie-breaker will be decided by dividing the NCAA “A” Cut time by the swimmers time in that event to find a percentage. The swimmer with the highest percentage for their second event will be the second alternate for the meet. If Ryan Arata is bumped in, he will be Stanford’s 13th invite. If Aaron Young is bumped in, he will be ninth Louisville swimmer invited to the meet.
- Aaron Young’s second event is the 100 backstroke. He is seeded 43rd with his time of 46.94. The NCAA “A” Cut time in that event is 45.62.
- Jacob Thulin’s second best event is the 50 freestyle. He is seeded 86th with his time of 19.97. The NCAA “A” Cut time in that event is 19.25.
By our math, the alternates for the meet will be:
1. Ryan Arata (Stanford) – 200 back
2. Aaron Young (Louisville) – 100 fly (tie), 100 back (tie-breaker)
3. Jacob Thulin (Tennessee) – 100 fly (tie), 50 free (tie-breaker)
4. Michael Miller (Duke) – 400 IM
5. Michael Strand (Princeton) – 100 back
6. Brock Bonetti (Texas A&M) – 200 back